NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Two children are dead and three other people have been injured after a mobile home fire Sunday evening (Oct. 21), according to the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal. Two dogs were also killed in the blaze.
The children were identified as siblings Jordan Beckham, 7, and Madison Branton, 9. Although both children were burned during the fire, smoke inhalation caused their deaths, according to the Plaquemines Coroner’s office.
The fire broke out around 10 p.m. in the 11000 block of LA 23 in Belle Chasse, where children lived with their mother and her grandparents, who were also injured in the fire. The fire marshall said it appears all five people inside the home were trying to get out, and somehow the adults got separated from the children who were pronounced dead on the scene. The three adults were all brought to the hospital for smoke inhalation, and the children’s mother is also being treated for burns to her arm. Authorities say she sustained the burns as she frantically tried to reach her children.
Triston Hammett, a relative, and Malcolm Alford, a friend of the family, were among those gathered near the home Monday, trying to make sense of the tragedy.
“As good as a family can, we just got to come together,” Hammett said.
“I send a prayer out for their family,” Alford said.
Officials said the Belle Chasse Volunteer Fire Department was the first agency to respond to the scene. A firefighter also received a minor burn during his attempt to save the children. He was treated on scene and released.
While this investigation is still on-going, deputies believe an addition to the mobile home, which was unoccupied at the time of the fire, is the likely area of origin. Officials believe an electrical malfunction as a possible cause, based on a preliminary report. Investigators said they did not find any smoke detectors inside the home, but the mother and grandparents said they, “remember them going off,” according to Ashley Rodrigue, a spokeswoman for the Fire Marshall’s Office.